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“An absolutely must do experience”

Kapiti Island Nature Tours
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Overnight Kiwi Spotting Tour on Kapiti Island
Ranked #1 of 20 things to do in Paraparaumu
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Kapiti Island is one of New Zealand's most visited places for bird watchers. It is an internationally renowned sanctuary and is blessed with an abundance of native and endangered species like Little Spotted Kiwi, Takahe, and the cheeky Kaka who have not survived so well on the mainland. This nature-inspired setting is the perfect place to experience New Zealand's native birds in their natural environment.Kapiti Island is just 40 minutes north of Wellington, New Zealand's capital city. Activities include half and full day nature tours, overnight Kiwi spotting and rare bird tours. The Maori hospitality you will experience on Kapiti Island - one of New Zealand's most precious nature reserves - is unsurpassed.
Nelson, New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
255 reviews
75 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
“An absolutely must do experience”
Reviewed July 13, 2013

We have been to Kapiti three times now. On our last trip, we stayed overnight at the lodge on the northern end of the island. It was awesome and an experience I would recommend to everyone. Not only do you get to experience the island's avian wildlife, you get to stay in a family owned lodge with great facilities and enjoy wonderful hospitality. We will be back, again and again!

Visited May 2013
1 Thank whosemother
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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282 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Mainz, Germany
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“So sad to leave”
Reviewed May 1, 2013

We stayed overnight (arriving in the morning and leaving next day afternoon) in the lodge at the Northern tip of Kapiti Island and enjoyed Kapiti Island`s birdlife and friendly hosts - John and his family - they provided us with lots of information about Kapiti Island, nature and history, walking tracks, birdwatching and also gave us the feeling to be really welcome to share their life on this wonderful island. An overnight stay is a really good experience because you have the opportunity to listen to the birdsongs when the birds are most active. We heard the Kiwis through the night and were lucky to spot two of the birds near the lodge during a guided walk. Birdwatching on Kapiti Island gives you an idea about birdlife in New Zealand how it could be without predators! On the North and South Island we experienced very quiet forests and bush - on Kapiti Island you can listen to many bird species and - if you have a bit of patience - see a lot of birds and enjoy watching them in different surroundings from seashore to bush and forest. The walks were well explained and we had terrific views, even to Mt. Taranaki far away.
We had a wonderful stay and were really sad to leave Kapiti Island, the birds and the lovely hosts. We hope to come back some day! It was the only excursion we booked from Germany well in advance and we loved every minute on this island. Cosy accommodation and well prepared meals were part of a great experience ! It is definitely a perfect place for birdwatchers and we are glad we did not miss it!

Visited February 2013
Thank Erika R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
123 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Great day out”
Reviewed April 11, 2013

Our first booking was cancelled due to weather but Minnie happily re-booked us. There was no charge for the person in our party who couldn't make it on the re-scheduled day. When we reported at the water taxi at 8.30am, there was a fairly steep access to the boat, but people to help you board (and subsequently debark on the island).
We had our own guide (Deborah) who was very knowledgeable about the history, Maori mythology, flora and fauna of the island. There was a talk for about an hour, morning tea in the lodge, a guided walk for about an hour, lunch After the home-cooked buffet style lunch with the other group who had overnighted in the lodge, we were free to do whatever we wanted - go for a walk by ourselves, climb up to a viewing point, relax in the lodge and watch the birds around there - until the boat returned to pick us up at about 2.45pm.
We saw takahe, pukeko, kaka, weka, fan tails, bellbirds, tui, kakariki, kereru, NZ robin and heard more. Disappointing not to see kiwi, but the people who had overnighted on the island had seen them.
There were some pebble paths that some people would find difficult and no wheelchair/stroller access that I saw. It would pay to discuss access with them before booking if it is an issue for anyone in your party. Bring walking shoes, sunscreen, hat, camera, water bottle - there is nothing to buy on the island.
It would be possible to get to the departure point (Coastguard Station at Paraparaumu Beach) by public transport on the day from Wellington - train then bus - but would mean a very early start. There is a Hostelling International hostel and a couple of motels less than 5 minutes' walk away.
All in all, it was a great experience and highly recommended.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank Fiona B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winchester, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
137 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
“Top marks for caring”
Reviewed February 13, 2013

I am a keen birdwatcher and had booked a trip to Kapiti long before we left the UK for New Zealand. The day before our trip was very windy and they warned that the trip might not go ahead. On the day, disaster, the trip was cancelled. So why five stars? Because of the way that Kapiti handled things. They were there on the phone to update you. At 7am they were very clear that the trip would not depart. And they didn't charge me a penny. I said " hey look, it's not your fault that the weather is bad, surely you want to take something for your administration?" No. Just lots of "sorry your trip has been messed up". Because of our travel schedule (we were on the ferry to South Island next day) it wan't possible to take the rescheduling that was offered. Whilst very disappointed I didn't get to Kapiti, I really give top marks to the staff for the way they handled things.

Visited February 2013
1 Thank archaeologyman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, New Zealand
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“A truly great place to visit as mentioned elsewhere - a taonga.”
Reviewed February 8, 2013

A really great place to visit. Amazing bird life, cheeky Kaka, lots of Kakariki, Tui, Bellbird, a family of Takahe and seeing a small spotted kiwi so close to the Lodge was a bonus. Food was excellent particularly the mussel fritters and the paua. While the accommodation is batch style it is very comfortable and clean and a very short walk to showers and toilet. Very knowledgeable guide on the visit and walk at Rangatira. Great walks at North End as well.

John, Amo, and family looked after us exceptionally well. Minnie was also very helpful in making our bookings and ensuring we had our DoC permits etc sorted. We will be heading back in the future and would highly recommend a visit to the Island - best to do the overnighter.

Visited February 2013
2 Thank KiwiWanderers02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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